5 Days to Your Best Christmas Ever, Day 5 – Giving, Getting, & Giving Back
Christmas is the season of giving and most people agree it is better to give than to receive.
If you’ve ever practiced being thankful in the face of trials you can attest to the power gratitude can have over your outlook of a situation. In fact, I wrote more about that here.
Sometimes all the anticipation for the presents you (or most often, your children) will receive on Christmas morning can overshadow every other facet of your Christmas celebration.
This ends up making the season more about what you’re going to get than what you’re going to give. And nothing can steal joy or thankfulness quicker than that kind of thinking.
So what do you do?
After all, giving is one way people show they care. Most families have some very well-intentioned and loving relatives or friends who want to shower you with gifts you don’t really need.
I’ve seen some of these ideas become more and more common in recent years as the “gimme-gimme” attitudes (and lack of storage space) grow, but I think they bear repeating:
- Ask for experiences (such as memberships to local museums or tickets to events), clothes, and/or homeschool supplies rather than toys. I have done this with my own children and it has really made a big difference. We got a zoo membership as a gift last year and we have enjoyed it all year long. A friend of mine put it another way: “Give something they want, something they need, something they can wear, and something they can read.”
- Brainstorm ways to give back to your community and/or those in need. You could choose to give your time, donate money, or give tangible supplies. Consider taking the money you might normally have spent on a present for each member of your family and putting it towards this effort. If your family brainstorms a big way to give back, you could ask for contributions instead of presents from other family members, godparents, or friends. Here are some fantastic ideas to give you a jumping off point but you’ll find more in my 5-day email series. These can be done either personally or by organizing a group effort with your extended family, friends, homeschool group or co-op, church, sports team, etc.:
So here are your final questions: What is at least one thing you can do to incorporate giving back into your holiday season? How can you lessen the focus on what you’re getting?
As with all the other discussion prompts, please be sure to ask your spouse and children what they think. Getting everyone involved will help you feel more connected and enthusiastic about what you will be doing.
As with any charity effort, be sure to do your research as to which charities actually pass through all (or almost all) of donated funds/supplies to your intended destination. Charity Navigator is a good place to start.
I would love to hear what you decide to do! Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you so much for taking this Christmas journey with me. I hope that walking through these discussion prompts helped you and your family to sharpen your focus on how to make the most of this Christmas season!
I hope your season is merry, bright, joyful (and less stressful) as you celebrate together.
- 1 – Remembering the Meaning
- 2 – Your Favorite Ways to Celebrate
- 3 – Things that Steal Your Joy
- 4 – Making New Memories
- 5 – Giving Back (You are here)